Terry Pratchett‘s character Granny Weatherwax says that, if you’re going to break rules, break ’em good and hard. So when Charlie and I, who are practically vegetarians, fall off the turnip truck, we go straight from blameless herbivores straight to something as fat and salty as possible without actually eating straight salted fat.
I’m talking jowl bacon, people.
I always thought jowl bacon was country food–I mean down-south in the USA country food. My mother, though, was raised in the city (a borderline-southern city, to be sure), and she tells me she was nearly grown before she knew there was such a thing as side meat.
Jowl (rhymes with bowl) bacon is cured and smoked meat from the cheek of a hog. Yes, technically it violates my food taboo against eating heads, but I make an exception for jowl bacon. It’s fattier than bacon from the side of the hog (if you can imagine anything fattier than that) and has a very rich taste.
I now find that it’s also used in Italy, under the name of guanciale, often an ingredient of carbonara. Italian cooks sometimes mince it and render the fat as the first step in making soup, adding a delicious if unhealthy richness to the broth. Joe, our half-Dalmatian/half-Lab, is always delighted when he smells jowl frying because the grease adds a delicious if unhealthy richness to his dog food, too.
ALSO, I have a post up today at the #amwriting website about plotting AND pantsing called Writing By The Seat Of My Baggy Pants. Hop over and take a gander at it, if you will.
WRITING PROMPT: What food did you grow up eating that people have subsequently expressed distaste for? Did that give you a distaste for it? Invent a character to whom that happens, or who resists it happening, or who rediscovers a fondness for a rejected childhood food.